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Yes there will be firefights, but irrespective of whether we say it's 140k or 200k or even 350k armed personnel in iraq, they are outnumbered. Massively.

Which won't matter in the least.

Even if their supply lines are cut (which they most likely would be), the Americans can blast themselves out of Iraq and into Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. The US Navy and Air Force can make sure there is not a single living thing within 20 km of the retreating columns. With tactical nukes if need be. Just button down the tanks and turn the overpressure systems on.

And then we have air supply. Sure, it doesn't have the best of reputations, but Göring did not have the immense airlift capacity of the US Air Force anno 2007.

Even if all these things wouldn't be enough, a relief force (Der Manstein kommt!) can quickly be assembled in Kuwait, sent in with working supply lines and connect with the main force, holding a corridor open.

Sure, they would have to leave massive amounts of stuff behind, but hostages? Never.

Hey, this does sound pretty exciting. At least it'll be great TV...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They won't be in tanks. They'll be in soft-sided trucks and unarmoured buses.

You're dreaming the same dreams of overwhelming force that led the arrogant fools in the White House into this situation. You're playing the wrong video game.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Overwhelming force works if you don't care about the civilans.

Just ask Genghiz Khan.

And well, too bad if the non-tankers will have to have some fallout land on them, but war is dangerous. They knew that when they joined up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree. Leaving wouldn't be much more difficult that the arrival.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, because shipping out thousands of accountants is just like rolling in a couple of thousand grunts. Exactly the same process.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an actual military operation, as opposed to the "stand around and dodge the bullets" operation currently underway.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A very difficult military operation, much more difficult than the drive into Iraq. Running escort to lots of vulnerable convoys is much harder than a nice clean strike action.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial invasion also had to escort lots of vulnerable supply convoys.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it had to escort enough to keep itself going, no more.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing now. I don't advocate dismantling all the bases, putting them on trucks and driving them out.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial escort was driving through a population that wasn't entirely hostile, and fighting a toy army - to the extent that it was fighting at all, which wasn't much. With complete air cover.

Iran has an air force. It might not have an air force for long, but I doubt it's the pushover it might be supposed to be.

Iran also has missiles, is more than happy to use them.

Zip. Bang. No more convoy. Insurgents have fun picking over the pieces. Game over.

We're talking about a quarter of a million people or so, who not only have to be moved, but also require food and water.

You don't need to be a military genius to understand that the best possible outcome would be one of the most humiliating retreats in the long list of humiliating US retreats in recent history.

The middling outcome. would be Stalingrad, only with sunblock. (If they can find any.)

The worst is a friendly nuclear exchange between irritated superpowers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

The Iranian Air Force will be destroyed within hours.

Convoys might well be hit by Iranian rockets, but that's war for you.

As long as no care is taken to spare Iraqi civilians (fire at anything that moves reasonably close to a convoy), the operation is very doable. Especially if there is some reasonable preparation, but consdiering the Bushies, we shouldn't count reasonableness.

Anyway, this is what the US armed forces are good at. No counter-insurgency, no fancy blitzkrieg maneuovering, just excellent logistics work while driving straight ahead blowing everything up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

Mogadishu, anyone?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mogadishu doesn't really have anything to do with this situation. Even so, the casualty rates were something like 100 to 1 back there.

The kind of firepower available in this operation is immense in comparison. The question is not if there is enough firepower but if the American soldiers are allowed to use it, as doing that will entail big civilian casualties. But what will a few more tens or hundreds of thousands of dead civilians mean as this war has already killed 1-1.5 million?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:59:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If an operation like that was to be run, why shouldn't the rest of the world demand sanctions against the US? If the populace sets up these sanctions out of reach of the government, the US can hardly come round the rest of the world and demand that we all buy American Goods.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

No counter-insurgency,

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

That's because you can't fight insurgents in a conventional way. It's much more like police work. And when you actually do fight them, you just kill lots of civvies and create more insurgents. Now, that won't matter if you're leaving.

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

No, they will be killing everyone in their way. Far easier than finding out who the bad guys are.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree with you in this thread. The US will go genocidal on the Iraqis if they have to in order to evacuate. If they don't, they're toast.

It's not like the WSJ hasn't editorialised on the need to get genocidal in order to beat the insurgency.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I wouldn't say genocidal. That would imply intent.

I'm thinking more like in "collateral damage and we just don't care".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though of course, if they want to beat the insurgency, instead of just getting out, genocide is not a bad policy. It might be the only policy that works.

Bribe'em, nuke'em or leave'em the Hell alone.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:44:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put them on planes and fly them out. Moving people is quick and easy, moving stuff isn't.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do know that you're way into the Donald Rumsfeld mind-set, don't you? None of the military types that I've read on this matter are anywhere near as optimistic as you.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because they are thinking in a political (or you might say, reality-based) mind-set.

I'm here in the Genghiz Khan no restraint mindset.

The rest of the world would protest immensely against this kind of WW2/Vietnam blow everything up style, but since has worldwide protests fazed the Americans?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where are the planes going to land if there are big craters in the runway of Baghdad airport?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Repairing runways is SOP.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So is getting the crap blown out of you while you're waiting for a runway repair.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's war for you.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you heard or read any news reports on the topic of Iraq lately?

We have no troops (no draft), no supplies, no game plan, no idea who is on first, and we're basically getting our asses kicked.  

Sadly, directors of Hollywood movies come up with better strategery than our current Administration.

Wait. I am onto something here.   Put Clint Eastwood in the role of Sec. of Defense, and instead of a draft, hold a casting call for extras.  Get some producers to put up the money for the war.  Then and only then does America win in Iraq or Iran or anywhere, really at this point.  


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if the straights have been cut, how do you form up the relief force?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Use reserve forces in Kuwait. Or tell the Turks to let you through. Or land in Saud Arabia or in Oman and motor through (that's bound to be popular...).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apart from the popularness of the operation, you're going to need to ship in about twice as many trucks as are already in theatre, just to deal with the extended lengthy of the supply lines, on top of that you're going to need extra to cope with increased  losses. (this will be equally true going through Turkey

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
popularness????

lets try poularity instead.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:32:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you operate out of Kuwait the supply lines won't be lengthened. And the Kuwaiti Army has 218 M1 tanks which might very well be leaseable...

I guess there are large supply depots in Kuwait anyway, and it's not like fuel is going to be a problem...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well half of the supply is supposedly coming through Um-Quasar, so the lengthening of supply lines is real. It depends wether you can opperate out of Kuwait. If the Iranians have managed to shut the straits, that may be something that is of little help.

The big problem would be the military supplies. on a war footing just for the real troops you're going to need in the region of 20,000 tons of supplies per day then you have to supply the contractors on top of that. (so probably in the region of twice as much)

Getting the right sorts of fuel to the right places will be a problem. Fuels one of the biggest supply headaches. Without that the US militarys combat capability drops away very sharply.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forces operating out of Kuwait should be well supplied and could hold a corridor open northwards to supply the main forces in Iraq.

That is after all what they do today (or well, from Umm Qassr, byt the difference should not be big). This new situation with mugh greater insurgent activity could be countered with indiscrimante firepower.

Of course, there will be convoy losses, but that is not of great importance.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
depends how big those losses are

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The casualties are not likely to be relevant from a military perspective, but from a political perspective a few thousand casualties over a few weeks might be problematic.

I would worry a lot more over naval casualties. Losing an aircraft carrier is not at all unimaginable.

Still, that would not be a critical blow either. From a military perspective.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but Göring did not have the immense airlift capacity of the US Air Force anno 2007.

The entire US military airlift capacity, if you withdraw it from everywhere else (Afghanistan, Korea)  has about enough capacity to supply about third of the US forces in Iraq if it is being used in combat and movement operations. This capacity is only reached by activiating the emergency measures that allow the US to take over a range of comercial transport aircraft.

The US airforces transport abilities are at nowhere near the level they were at after the second world war which allowed the Berlin airlift to happen.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it will help a lot. Especially as the aircraft can lift stuff out on the return journey, leaving less soft units for the ground retreat.

And remember, you don't have to move all the forces out at the same time.

Just set up a corridor and move at leisure.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just set up a corridor and move at leisure.

I think "At leisure" is going to be a different order of problem all together.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the real question is: at whose leisure?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sometimes it looks like a choice between the seige  of ostende, and the retreat from Kabul.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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